Supporting Youth and Their Families
For many, the words “Cape Cod” evoke images of beautiful beaches, carefree summer days, sailing, and golf. While we are fortunate to have all of those things here, the reality is different for many of the families that call Cape Cod home on a year-round basis. Seasonal employment, low affordable year-round housing options, and a high cost of living complicate many families’ ability to meet even the most basic human needs. In 2013, 36,548 individuals under the age of 18 were living in Barnstable County, with 15% living below the poverty level. While free and reduced lunch enrollment rates, an indicator of poverty, vary by school district, on Cape Cod they run as high as 49%.
Recent community conversation has focused on the shifting demographic population of Cape Cod. From 2000 to 2010, Cape Cod experienced a decline of 20.9% (7,859 individuals) in the population under age 15 years. School enrollment is on the decline, which is consistent with a decline in numbers of children and youth residing in the region.
On the positive side, one of Cape Cod’s major assets is its’ people, and there is no shortage of people and organizations working hard to retain the families that are here and to attract new families. Among these efforts are partnerships to increase access and affordability to youth services and programs, expand connections between young people and caring adults, enhance opportunities for civic engagement and volunteerism, and to provide young people with the skills and training they need to combat risky behaviors and to prepare for their adult life.
One such effort of multiple organizations coming together to support youth and their families is the Cape-wide Youth Action Plan.
"Every Child. Our Child."
In May 2014, The Cape Cod Foundation, with many community partners released the Cape-wide Youth Action Plan the result of a multi-year, multi-organization process to create a common vision and roadmap to support youth and families on Cape Cod. The Action Plan provides the community with strategic direction to shape the continued future of Cape Cod as a healthy, empowering place where all young people can thrive and families feel supported.
Work is ongoing and Connect Cape Cod is the platform for sharing updates! Want to know more about getting involved with the implementation of the plan? Contact Dara Bryan at The Cape Cod Foundation.
View items related to: